The July 2010 issue of Vanity Fair features a brief and brilliant interview with Charlie Rose. Usually the one asking the questions, it is no surprise he answers with much insight, though few words. I recommend you find a copy and spare 5 minutes to read this exchange if nothing else. Floss tomorrow instead, or Maury can wait (you are not the baby’s daddy either). One of my favourite questions and answers (I have a top 10), was this:
Question: What is your favourite occupation?
Marvellous! When have you ever heard that? Sure you have heard people say they love their job. I loved mine. But is what you do (when you’re doing it), your favourite occupation?
A few years ago, (give or take), you probably wanted to be a ballerina, or explorer, or inventor, or Batman, when you grew up.
You grew up. Welcome. But are you what you wanted to be? Is this were you saw yourself in 10 years?
Most of us, unfortunately, seldom end up living the dream we dreamed. We take a job that was available, which becomes a job that’s enjoyable. The job you like becomes something you are good at and before you know it, you fell head first into a whole 20+ year career. Just like that.
It’s likely you got here by being practical and playing it safe. You need to earn to live the life you want. To earn you need work. So work was the priority. Not necessarily what the work was. For most of us what we wanted (job description) took a back seat to what we needed (actual job).
But you are not working anymore. So what next?
Well, you can take the high road. You can be very practical and continue on the path you are on. This way all those years of experience you have accumulated to date, work to your benefit. If you are challenged by the idea of getting back to doing what you wanted, once you find a job, save specially towards making a break for it and give it a try in 24 months.
But if you don’t mind getting a little dirty on the low road, you can use this time off to take a leap of faith and start fresh. Apply for the job you want, with no experience and nothing but a dream. (That should make for a nice cover letter). Go for it! Do what you always wanted and be happy doing it. Make your favourite occupation yours. After all, dreams are meant to become realities.
I will be Batman. Why? Because I dreamed of saving the world. And I’m fabulous in latex and leather…